Justice A. A. Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, on Monday, June 17, 2019, granted an application made by using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the arrest of a serving Senator, Albert Bassey.
The senator is popularly referred to as OBA and he’s pressured to seem in courtroom and face the cash laundering expenses preferred against him by way of the Commission.
Tony Orilade, Acting Head, Media & Publicity for the fee stated in a press assertion issued that the Senator, according to his counsel Barrister Samuel Ikpo, didn’t appear in court docket due to the fact he become not served a replica of the charge.
Ikpo additionally delivered that he become instructed via his patron, to seem in court and get hold of the price on his behalf.
But, the prosecution through its counsel, Mohammed Sadisu Abubakar gave element account the court on efforts made through the Commission to serve the lawmaker.
“My lord, for the reason that filling of the rate, the prosecution has made frantic efforts to serve the suspect the rate however all our efforts proved abortive, because the suspect, who has been on administrative bail granted him by means of the EFCC has jumped bail. The Investigating Officer, Osatuyi Ayodele, additionally located a call to him on June 6, 2019, inviting him to the office that allows you to be served the price, however the Lawmaker failed to reveal up after he promised that he could.
“One of his (Senator Bassy) attorney, Ini Utuk, turned into additionally contacted on June 7, 2019, but similarly failed to reveal up, after promising to do so.
Till this moment My lord, the suspect has failed, to honour the terms of his administrative bail that is to usually make himself to be had.
“In the instances my lord, I humbly practice, pursuant to Section 113 and 114 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act for this honourable court docket to problem a warrant for the arrest of the suspect and to supply him before this honourable court”, read more.
But the defense counsel however argued that the price be given to him for the reason that remember became arising for the first time before the court and that the suspect changed into now not served the copy of the charge.
“The defendant was sworn in ultimate week in Abuja as a Senator. I respectfully observe that the charge accept to me to hand over to him”, said Ikpo”.
Responding on factor of law, the EFCC suggest countered the argument of the defence, as he hinged his argued on the provisions of Section 114 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
His words: “My lord, Section 114 of the ACJA offers that the court can problem an order for the primary time, depending on the character and circumstances of the case and the character and occasions of this case offers upward push for the issuance of a bench warrant.
This is a criminal remember and there’s no provision in ACJA 2015 to serve a fee via recommend in admire of a suspect who has now not seemed earlier than the court.
My lord, I urge you to discountenance the submissions of the defence recommend”, Abubakar argued.
After listening to each aspects, Justice Okeke upheld the arguments of the prosecution. “Section 114 of the ACJA is instructive on this issue.
The courtroom can problem a warrant on the first day relying on the situations and nature of the case. One need to lead by using instance and to whom a great deal is given, plenty is predicted.
“Where the defendant observed it necessary to wait a legislative function, he ought to additionally find it compulsory to honour invitations by means of regulation enforcement organizations.
Justice is for all in the temple of justice and if there’s any utility to be granted within the hobby of justice, it ought to be the software made through the prosecution.
“The courtroom therefore grants the utility and therefore trouble a bench warrant towards the defendant for his manufacturing in this court docket on the following adjourned date”, the courtroom ruled.